Thursday, February 7, 2013

Night is for sleeping... or should be.

I've learned a lot of things in the past seven years of being a parent.... a lot of things that,  to me,  are now ridiculously obvious -
but prior to being called, "Mom"  I never gave them a second thought.

Like, cleaning the house while your kids are at home.  It's like shoveling while it's still snowing. 
There is absolutely no point whatsoever.

And, being on the phone while making homemade play dough is NOT a good idea.  Flour and unsupervised children do NOT mix.

And, there is no such thing as pleasing everyone at the same time... especially at dinner time.
No matter what I make for dinner, there is always someone who doesn't like it. 

But one of THE most important things I've learned while being a parent?

Nothing good comes from being woken up in the middle of the night.

Now, I'm not talking about a baby crying to be fed...because even the most exhausted mothers will say that those peaceful times feeding their baby in the middle of the night are some of their favorites.

I'm talking about that tap on the shoulder when you're in mid dream at 2AM.....That tap that somehow incorporates INTO your dream.... That tap-tap-tapping that just won't stop until you realize it's not in your dream, but someone standing next to your bed STARING at you. 

#1. That's some scary sh*t. 
Opening your eyes to see your child standing there staring.  It's like poltergeist or something.

#2. Nothing good comes from your child standing at your bed at 2AM because it is usually followed by,

"Mommy, I wet the bed".

In which case you have to get yourself up,  wrestle the sheets off the bed...put on some clean ones, wash up the kid and put her back in bed all while trying to keep your eyes closed so that when you get back in your own bed, you're not wide awake and struggling to fall back to sleep.  No easy task.

Or how about this at 2AM?

"Mommy, I'm scared to sleep in my room"

This is a tough one.
This means that you either have to bring that scared little person into your bed to sleep between you and your husband. Where SHE sleeps and neither of you do.

You head into her room with her. Squeeze into a twin bed... lie there, not moving, with the hope that she falls asleep so you can slip out unnoticed...but that never happens because every time you open your eye a crack to take a peak at her. She's peaking back at you.


You can try the whole,
"No, you're not going to sleep in my bed tonight. I'm going to bring you back to your room and you're going to go back to sleep in your own bed"  (because isn't that what the "experts" advise you to do?)

This is usually followed up with some crying...maybe some crying and then some screaming ...and then you giving in and  letting her sleep in your bed in order to avoid waking up the rest of your sleeping children.

Because what's worse than one non-sleeping child in the middle of the night? 
FOUR non-sleeping children in the middle of the night.
(Can you tell that this one has been playing out in my house a LOT recently? Awesome.)

There is one thing that is far worse than the mild shoulder tapping wake up at 2AM ...
and that is the SCREAMING wake up at 2AM.

We've had a bunch of those.

Those happen when, most specifically, one (I won't mention any names) of my children is sick.

This child is scared of throwing up.
Actually, not just scared...absolutely terrified.
So if she feels sick, there isn't that tap on the shoulder to wake me up to say,
"Mommy, I think I might throw up"
Nope. That's too rational.

She wakes me up by screaming bloody murder in her bed... like someone is stabbing her over and over again.

Ever been woken up like that?
It's the closest to death I've come. It's heart attack inducing.  I'm not kidding.

So, hands down, the screaming is, by FAR, the worst kind of wake up.

#1. It takes a full 30 seconds for me to even realize that I'm out of my bed and RUNNING through my house... I have no idea where the screams are coming from or where I'm running to because I'm still asleep.  My body is working but my brain is not.  And my heart is now beating furiously.. by itself .....    ....on the living room floor.

#2. Once I find the screaming child.... Its a disaster trying to talk her down.
She feels sick, but won't admit it because admitting it is like defeat.
In her mind, admitting she feels like she MIGHT throw up automatically means she's DEFINITELY, NO WAY AROUND IT, going to throw up.

And for her, throwing up is the WORST. THING. EVER.
And for me? HER throwing up is the WORST. THING. EVER.

She's been known to try and outrun her vomit. Not kidding.
I bring out the bucket and she starts to run.
I once had to tackle her in the hallway to get her to throw up in the bucket rather than on the floor while trying to run away. 

She also screams right before throwing up. 
Which I guess could be a good thing because then we know to get the bucket ready.  But it's a little unnerving.  The pre-puke blood curdling scream scares the crap out of me every single time.

And all of this goes on in the dead of night. 
I've been woken up out of a sound sleep and the next thing I know I'm tackling my child in the hallway to get her to throw up in a bucket!   How does this happen?!

I have yet to be woken up in the middle of the night by one of my children handing me flowers...
Or by someone just needing to tell me they love me,.
Although, that would still be annoying, just less annoying/horrific than the tapping and screaming.

I mean, can't we all just stay asleep and leave the tapping, screaming, puking, bed wetting and whatever else for during the day?
I function way better during the daylight hours when I've had a full night sleep(Can't remember the last time THAT happened)  

I know that people say, "You'll miss this when they're older"

I can confidently say, "No, I won't."

This is one thing about parenting that I will NOT miss.  

The homemade playdough messes and the complaining over dinner?
Sure, I can see myself missing all those little things....

But the middle of the night?

I'd like to keep that just for sleeping. Thanks.

Peace, Love & RIGHT NOW

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